It’s hard to play favorites—any one of our fine Rochester-area chocolatiers makes for a great day trip detour or destination! Many of the chocolates are still crafted by 3rd- and 4th-generation descendants using traditional family recipes with modern twists.
Chocolatiers in the
Original Candy Kitchen
Williamson, est. 1890
“The Original Candy Kitchen, also known to the locals as “Nick’s,” Candy Kitchen, and The Kitchen, has been an institution in the town of Williamson since its origin in 1890. It has been in the Boosalis family for four generations and is currently owned and operated by Mary and Peter Anagnostopoulos. Originally an ice cream parlor, the business has slowly evolved over the years into a family restaurant/candy store. It offers traditional food with some Greek, Italian, and Dutch specialties.”
Irondequoit, est. 1917
Current chocolatiers are 4th generation descendants of the original owner. Andy’s Candies Homemade Chocolates has been family owned and operated in Rochester, NY since 1917. Andrew Sykut was a welder by day and a candy-maker by night when he founded the business.
Their factory is on Hudson Ave. (not open for tours), with several suburban retail locations that have been operational for decades, the oldest of which is a seasonal shop in Perinton that opened 40+ years ago.
Rochester’s Park Ave Neighborhood, est. 1946
Current chocolatiers are 3rd generation descendants of the original owner.
“The Stever’s have been making delicious confections for over half a century. Douglas Stever learned the art of candy making near Philadelphia after his service in World War II. In 1946, he and his wife Hilda opened their first small shop in Rochester at S. Goodman & Benton Streets.”
Victor, est. 1946
Their factory is in Tonawanda, with even more retail locations in Buffalo. Current chocolatiers are 3rd generation descendants of the original owner.
“In 1946, two brothers, Louis and John Watson, and their respective wives, Ellen and Mary, began making chocolates in the back room of their soda fountain and luncheonette on Delaware Avenue in Kenmore, NY. Our family recipes are still made today, by hand, and in small batches, including our Famous Sponge Candy. Our candy makers and chocolatier are our extended family and we take pride in using only the highest quality ingredients, including only Fair Trade Certified chocolate.”
Irondequoit, est. 1987
“Founded in 1987, Encore Chocolates, Inc. has always been known for it’s imaginative and innovative chocolate gifts and creations. We strive to satiate your sweet needs for holidays, special events, gifts, and everyday indulgences.”
Canandaigua, est. 1997
“Sweet Expressions, specializing in Fine Chocolates and Gourmet Gift Baskets, has been providing custom created Chocolates and Gifts since 1997. Located in the heart of Historic Downtown Canandaigua at 169 South Main Street, Sweet Expressions offers the quaint surroundings that you would expect to find in the beautiful Historic Main Street shopping district.”
Affaire de Chocolat
Fairport, est. 2001
“Affaire de Chocolat was established in 2001 in Perinton NY. Additional Brand: Roc City Chocolates was created in 2015, goBe bars were created in 20017. They are a cross between a Dark Chocolate bar and a Trail Bar. In the beginning, only Truffles were available. Now, including some seasonal items, I make over 72 kinds/flavors of Chocolates. Roc City Chocolates has a line of specialty Dark Chocolate Bars, along with chocolate barks and such.”
Hedonist Artisan Chocolates
Rochester’s South Wedge Neighborhood, est. 2007
Hedonist /he-don-ist/ a person who believes in the pursuit of pleasure is the most important thing in life; a pleasure-seeker. “In 2007 Hedonist Artisan Chocolates was born in Rochester, New York. Founder Jennifer Posey had the vision that hand-crafting small batch confections using old world techniques, carefully sourced ingredients, refined packaging would create an obsession for artisan chocolates in Rochester and New York State.”
They also have a selection of vegan and dairy free options.
Rochester-area chocolatiers offering
Cocoa Bean Shoppe
Pittsford, est. 2012
“Cocoa Bean Shoppe makes artisan truffles and chocolates in a small-batch kitchen. In our chocolate boutique you will find a selection of premium chocolates from around the world and organic “bean-to-bar” chocolate bars. Chocolate School at Cocoa Bean Shoppe is a place were you can learn how to make truffles and take chocolate tasting classes.”
Laughing Gull Chocolates
Rochester’s Winton Village neighborhood, est. 2015
“Laughing Gull Chocolates was conceived out of a long-standing love affair with chocolate, a fascination with it’s story, and a desire to use chocolate as a vehicle for social change. After spending years delving into the history of cacao, founder Lindsay Tarnoff discovered that her love of making chocolate was as powerful as her resolve to use her favorite food to change the world.”
In addition to public and private chocolate-making classes, they offer chocolate tastings (which include some rare chocolates), hot chocolate flights, they sell Eat Me Ice Cream, espresso, tea, and other drinks, and offer Cheese Plates with local cheeses. They also have vegan and dairy-free options!
Notable Chocolatiers in
Western New York
Factory in Buffalo plus 5 retail locations, est. 1910
Factory tours, complete with Golden Ticket, every Columbus Day weekend in October, offering self-guided tours and a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how sponge candy is made.
“Fowler’s Chocolates is the original maker of Buffalo’s Best Sponge Candy since 1910. Fowler’s proudly distributes its products through seven retail store locations in western New York.”
Depew, est. 1915
“With roots dating back to 1915 in Buffalo, NY, Antoinette’s Sweets™ has evolved as an enduring family confectionery establishment serving Western New York. From origins on the East Side of Buffalo to the current location on Transit Road in Depew since 1958, a fourth family generation continues the traditions of home-made confectionery creations.”
Batavia, est. 1932
“Oliver’s Candies was established in 1932 by Joseph Boyd Oliver. Mr. Oliver blanched peanuts in his home, then went out to stores and gas stations to sell his product. After experimenting with formulas, homemade recipes, long hours and hard work, he developed such now-famous products as Cashew Glaze and Hostess Squares. Oliver’s uses original family proven recipes, the very best ingredients, including real butter, cream, honey and other natural products.”
Cheektawaga, est. 1938
“Milton C. “Bud” Wahl’s family began making and selling chocolates from their home. After serving for two years as an aviation mechanic in the Navy during World War II, he returned and opened a soda fountain and chocolate shop with his parents at 2259 Genesee St., just inside the Buffalo city line.
“Mr. Wahl and his wife moved Wahl’s Candies to 2351 Genesee St., Cheektowaga, where they manufactured and sold their chocolates. He also invented the Wahl Peppy Pumper Chocolate Metering Pump, which is used widely by confectioners in the United States, Canada and Australia.”
Williamsville, est. 1967
“Alethea’s has a long history in the confectionary business, starting with the owner’s Great Grandmother Alethea, who made confections in her hometown of Kozani Greece. In 1979, the Tassy Family, decided to consolidate their store and factory into one location. They purchased a historic estate in Williamsville, and built a new Chocolate Factory adjacent to the original estate home. This original building, after extensive rehabilitation, became the Chocolate Shop and Ice cream Parlor, now, nicely situated in a beautiful park like setting.”
Buffalo, est. 1985
“Landies Sweets and Treats is a chocolate factory and retail candy store located inside the Tri-Main Building. Come on down and smell the chocolate, taste samples and purchase all types of sweets & treats from our retail candy store.”
Notable Chocolatiers in
Central New York
East Syracuse, est. 1905
Current chocolatiers are 3rd generation descendants of the original owner. “In 1905, my grandfather, Robert and his 2 brothers, Jim and Pete arrived in America from Greece through a port in Boston, MA . They went to Fulton, NY where they learned the art of candy making.
“We make candy the way it was made in the early 1900’s – all by hand without any machines. We roast our own nuts on the premises and purchase our ingredients directly from the source from which they originate – not through a middle man, so that the freshness and quality of our candy speaks for itself.”
The Speach Family Candy Shoppe
Syracuse, est. 1920
Current chocolatiers are 4th generation descendants of the original owner. “Originally founded by Michael Speach (Michele Spicciati) an immigrant from Italy, The Speach Family Candy Shoppe has been passed down through the generations to Michael’s great-grandson who also happens to be named Michael. With the help of family and friends, The Speach Family Candy Shoppe has grown and developed new products and gorgeous packaging the customers have come to expect and appreciate.”
Who are your favorite Rochester-Area chocolatiers?
Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!